News of: Wednesday, 1st of December, 2010
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Bangladesh yesterday signed the first ever multi-modal transit with India only for carrying equipment to a power plant in Tripura.
A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against former prime minister Khaleda Zia's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko and a former BNP minister's son in absentia in a money laundering case.
With overwhelming presence of law enforcers and ruling Awami League activists in the streets, opposition BNP's dawn-to-dusk hartal yesterday passed without any major untoward incidents.
A trial court yesterday rescinded its earlier dismissal of businessman Aftabuddin killing case, and reinstated murder charges against 18 of the accused including top-listed gangsters Shahadat Hossain and Khorshed Alam.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday handed over prizes to the winners of 'Celebrating Life 2010' at an animated award giving ceremony at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital.
The hearing of the contempt of court petition filed by Khaleda Zia against the government over the Dhaka Cantonment house was not held yesterday, as the Supreme Court did not sit due to the countrywide hartal called by BNP.
The ruling Awami League (AL) said yesterday people hatefully rejected BNP's hartal on the day but the main opposition party said people spontaneously made the hartal a success despite government obstructions.
The ceremony of “HSBC -The Daily Star climate awards 2010” takes place today after a several months of rigorous selection process to identify efforts made by individuals and institutions to combat climate change.
A Dhaka court yesterday granted three months more to Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to complete the probe into one of the two cases filed in connection with the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in 2004.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) here yesterday submitted petitions seeking 10-day remand each against former state minister Lutfozzaman Babar and former director general of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Brigadier General (retd) Abdur Rahim in the sensational Chittagong arms haul case.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the world community to work unitedly to build a nuclear weapon-free world and establish peace.
The Appellate Division of Supreme Court has been experiencing a severe shortage of judges, as six out of a total of 11 judges have retired and two others went on leave within last one year.
A total of 2.81 lakh students out of some 24.88 lakh did not turn up for this year's Primary Education Terminal Examinations that ended on Monday.
Both the CT scan machines at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital remain out of order causing huge suffering for patients with critical head injuries requiring scan.
After nearly 100 years of plying the rivers of Bangladesh, the glory days of the last four romantic “rocket” paddle-wheel boats appear numbered. Their worn-out engines and paddles are failing, while competition from faster modes of transport lures away their customers.
The Bangladesh cricket team will take on Zimbabwe in the first match of their five-match one-day series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.
Officials in China have expressed frustration with communist ally North Korea, according to leaked classified US diplomatic cables.
Despite Awami League's repeated announcements that its activists would not be on the streets during hartal hours, AL-backed student body Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) members yesterday took to the city thoroughfares to resist pro-hartal activists of BNP.
A parliamentary body yesterday, expressing concern over the soaring prices of food grains, directed authorities concerned to keep the price of rice within Tk 25 per kilogram.
A youth hacked his mother to death at Rayerbagh in the capital's Kadamtoli yesterday over a trifling matter.
India's government and opposition parties failed yesterday to break a three-week parliamentary deadlock over a corruption probe that has weakened the ruling Congress-party and stalled spending and reform bills.
Today's issue of The Daily Star contains a two-page supplement on the proceedings of a roundtable on "Strategic Information and HIV Prevention among Adolescents" organised jointly by the UNFPA and The Daily Star on November 2, 2010. See pages 22 and 23.
Different scenes from the city during BNP's dawn-to-dusk hartal yesterday. The hartal supporters could not show down properly on the streets in the face of obstructions from the law enforcers and fear of arrest. But the ruling party men in a motorcycle rally at Shahbagh protesting the hartal. Sporadic clashes between the law enforcers and pro-hartal activists in the city left over 150 people injured.
One more hartal has come and gone, with the usual disruption of life and damage to property which such political moves entail. Stray incidents of violence have occurred at different places of the country, with vehicles and the like coming under attack. Now that the hartal is over, it is our sincere expectation that it will not be repeated and that the political opposition will find alternative means of expressing its point of view on the issues. We have consistently made our position clear, which is that we have never had any reason to think that hartals or general strikes accelerate in any way our march to stable democracy or a vibrant economy. We believe that the end of autocratic rule in 1990 and the elections of early 1991 should have been an opportunity for our political classes to guide the nation toward a new, substantive democratic opening through eschewing hartals and promoting a spirit of energetic political engagement and cooperation in parliament as well as outside it. Unfortunately, at a time when we as a nation stand ready to take the necessary steps to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of political and economic advancement, we remain bogged down by issues that increasingly look more personal to politicians than fundamental to the national interest.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Japan visit has produced some tangible results. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina covered extensive field of cooperation, bilateral and international, in their talks. These were featured by marked identity of views, commitment and shared sense of purpose.
When Bangladesh kick off their five-match one-day series against Zimbabwe today there would be only one expectation: maintain the purple patch leading upto next year's World Cup.
Rival coaches predicted spin bowling to be the deciding factor in the five-match one-day series between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
The recent government approval of an additional Tk 4 crore to facilitate renovation work at the Bangabandhu National Stadium means that the total cost of reconstruction has moved up to a staggering Tk 35 crore to just host the opening ceremony of the 2011 World Cup.
From the viewers' perspective, the 1987 World Cup can lay claim to being the most thrilling. A large number of matches, including the final, were close with the result not clear till the last over. For sheer drama and late twists, the match of the tournament probably was the one between hosts India and eventual champions Australia at the Chepauk in Madras on October 9.
The fourth edition of the Bangladesh League will start in the last week of December at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium while the second edition of the Super Cup will be held in April next year at the Bangabandhu National Stadium after the conclusion of the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Gerhard Peter Rach, Bangladesh's temperamental hockey coach, blasted the hockey federation branding it 'old town mafia' for its mismanagement in his Asian Games report to the Bangladesh Olympic Association.
Real Madrid's Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain may be suffering from more than just a simple back muscle injury and may need to go undergo surgery, Spanish media reported Tuesday.
Saluting the longevity of Sachin Tendulkar, West Indies great Brian Lara has described the Indian batting legend as the 'Don Bradman' of modern era but refused to the compare the icons of different eras.
Young Virat Kohli will be the cynosure of all eyes as a new-look India seek to continue the team's dominating run at home in the current calendar when they take on New Zealand in the second cricket one-dayer here on Wednesday.
The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be a part of India's upcoming Test tour of South Africa. Gerald Majola, chief executive of Cricket South Africa confirmed the news to ESPNcricinfo saying, "[We] will definitely not be using it."
Skipper Kumar Sangakkara expects Sri Lanka to put in a solid performance as they seek to clinch the series with a win in the third and final Test against the West Indies starting Wednesday.
Martial arts grandmaster and security management expert Dr. Mak Yuree has set a new world record by breaking two baseball bats with a single shin kick in the biggest martial arts exhibition in Great Britain on November 14.
Pakistan left under-suspicion wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and senior batsman Moha-mmad Yousuf out of the Twenty20 and Test squads announced Tuesday for next month's tour of New Zealand.
Jose Mourinho always said that his side would lose one day but he did not expect to lose like this not after enjoying the greatest start of any coach in Real Madrid's history. His team, so impermeable before, were punctured. Five times. They were sunk. A 5-0 victory for Barcelona was described by the Madrid coach as a "historically bad result" for his club it was the worst defeat he has suffered in his career.
Champions Barcelona inflicted a humiliating 5-0 reality shock to Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid, befuddling them with a sublime "tiki-taka" one-touch passing game, Spain's press said Tuesday.
Jose Mourinho refused to make excuses for Real Madrid's humiliating 5-0 defeat to champions Barcelona in the Clasico at Camp Nou on Monday admitting his 'Galacticos' had been well below-par but dismissed suggestions that the margin of victory reflected the difference between the two sides.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Tuesday that it would examine any evidence of corruption, after one of its members was named in a BBC report targeting three FIFA officials.
Manchester City and holders Atletico Madrid are among the sides seeking to wrap up qualification to the last 32 when the Europa league resumes on Wednesday.
Liverpool were dealt a fresh blow on Tuesday when it was announced that long-serving defender Jamie Carragher was set to be sidelined for three months following surgery on a dislocated shoulder.
Werder Bremen striker Hugo Almeida received a three-match ban from the German football federation following his weekend red card against St Pauli - against whom he scored a hattrick in a 3-0 win.
Ciprian Marica has been fined 50,000 euros by his club Stuttgart and banned for three matches by the German Football Federation (DFB) after being sent off for insulting a referee.
Shares of 14 listed companies, which were suspended by the stockmarket regulator, will resume trade Sunday on the spot market instead of public market.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) will send 50 inspection teams to commercial banks that took out more than Tk 20 crore in industrial loans to expose diverters of funds into the share market.
India's economy grew 8.9 percent year-on-year in July-September, underscoring the country's brisk recovery from the global financial crisis.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between Bang-ladesh and Japan to best
Public transports came to a halt, private cars remained in safe garages and financial institutions served sparse clients, as the countrywide hartal called by the main opposition yesterday heavily disrupted business life in the capital.
The European Commission has launched an investigation into Google after other search engines complained that the firm had abused its dominant position.
The global economy will grow at a pace below than the current year's, by about 3.4 percent in 2011 and 3.8 percent in 2012, and Asia will continue to lead the global recovery, the Citi forecast yesterday.
General Motors said Monday it had completed the sale of its Nexteer equipment unit to Chinese-based Pacific Century Motors, an entity that includes the Beijing municipal government.
Climate change will bring business opportunities in countries like Bangladesh, said Teresa Au, HSBC's head of corporate sustainability for the Asia-Pacific region.
Indian technology companies are growing in confidence. New brands are launching thick and fast, determined to take on established Western names with help from cheap Chinese factories.
Canada's economy grew one percent in the third quarter, slowing dramatically since the start of the year, official data showed Tuesday.
Asian stocks lost ground on Tuesday with Tokyo and Shanghai falling sharply as markets worried about Chinese economic tightening and the troubled eurozone.
Asean chief Surin Pitsuwan Tuesday urged member states to step up intra-regional trade, saying it was "difficult" otherwise to see the bloc reaching its goal of economic integration by 2015.
Investors fled Spain's bonds Monday and pushed its risk premium to a record high as Ireland's 85-billion-euro rescue failed to vanquish fears of a spreading eurozone debt crisis.
Malaysian premier Najib Razak Tuesday announced 8.2 billion ringgit (2.59 billion dollars) worth of investments in the country and incentives to open up marginal oil and gas fields.
Struggling Japan Airlines (JAL) on Tuesday said it had won approval from the Tokyo district court for a rehabilitation plan that will see thousands of job cuts, route closures and a debt waiver.
The European single currency sank on Tuesday close to a two-month low under 1.34 dollars, as the greenback was boosted by its safe-haven status on the back of Ireland and Korea concerns, dealers said.
The government is going to develop a digital map of the country's forest to build a stronger forest monitoring system.
On the occasion of Investiture ceremony of 6th 'Colonel Commandant' and 30th Annual Commanders Conference, Chief of Army Staff General Md Abdul Mubeen visited Ordnance Centre and School (OC&S) at Rajendrapur Cantonment here yesterday.
Awami League activists allegedly ransacked and set fire to the BNP office at Gokunda union in Lalmonirhat sadar upazila in the wee hours of yesterday.
The admission test for Gha unit (the unit for changing group) first year honours courses at Dhaka University for the session 2010-11 will be held on Friday.
Selina Bahar Zaman commemorative lecture will be held at Sufia Kamal auditorium at National Museum in the city at 4:00pm on December 3, says a press release.
The admission process for the first year honours courses under the session 2010-11 at Rajshahi University will begin on December 11 instead of December 1.
Just three months ago Noor Alam was a driver of a CNG-run three-wheeler and was living happily with his wife and two little children. But now a bleak future awaits him as an accident caused severe injury to his legs and shattered all his dreams.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said Khaleda Zia's counsels intentionally did not moved the leave-to-appeal and contempt of court petitions regarding the cantonment residence in the Supreme Court on Monday to make the chief justice (CJ) controversial.
The World AIDS Day will be observed today across the country as elsewhere in the world.
The government will soon receive 50,000 modern blackboards and 5,000 pianos from South Korea, which will be provided for the primary schools.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday visited the historic Hiroshima Memorial Park and Museum and was overwhelmed with the deaths and destructions caused by the atom bomb “Little Boy” dropped on the city on August 6, 1945 during the World War II.
At least four people were killed and 11 others injured in separate road accidents in Chpainawabganj and Gaibandha districts yesterday.
Police held back the BNP activists poised to enforce hartal activities in front of the party's unit office at Kazir Dewry in Chittagong city yesterday.
Four people received burn injuries as Gokunda union BNP office at Mostofi village of Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila was ransacked and set afire alleged by ruling Awami League (AL) men in the early hours of Tuesday.
Sporadic clashes between pickets and law enforcers left at least 150 people injured in different districts during yesterday's countrywide hartal enforced by BNP.
Police on Monday night arrested 24 suspected Islamist militants in Patuakhali and Natore districts.
Authorities of an agricultural farm has lodged a case with Pirganj police station against 30 people of Khearpara village under Mithapukur upazila in connection with the November 22 incident of cutting embankment at the Mithpukur end of Chatra Beel, a large water body in adjoining Pirganj upazila.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) took Abdul Latif Kawsar, prime suspect in Prof Harun-ur-Rashid murder case, on a three-day remand on Monday.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in a drive in the early hours of yesterday recovered arms, ammunition and bombs from Courtpara area in the district.
A top leader of outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP), Janajuddha faction was murdered a in remote village of Faridpur upazila yesterday.
The Sundarbans is now on the final list of the new Seven Wonders of the World. But it is a matter of great regret that the Sundarbans is being ruined gradually. The hunters are killing tigers for their skin, teeth, bones and fat and selling those to foreign countries. India and China are the buyers. The tigers are being killed by shooting, trapping or poisoning. The tigers come to the human habitats being provoked by the people; they destroy the village and kill humans.
When a political party assumes power, it calls the opposition party troublemaker, and asks them not to observe hartal. The situation reverses when the opposition party comes to power again. This is our political culture. The politicians reap the benefits in such a culture. Politicians never think of the well-being of the country and the welfare of the common man.
Different buildings of Jahangirnagar University are at great risk of collapsing. This is due to lack of proper maintenance and renovation. The most vulnerable buildings are Al Beruni Hall, Meer Musharraf Hossain Hall, Nawab Faizunnesa Hall and Fazilatun-Nesa Hall. Students are residing in these buildings risking their lives. Cracks on the walls and roofs are a common scene. Chunks of plaster fall very often frightening the students. Water leaks into the room from the top floor during rainy season.
Yesterday (22-11-2010) while going through the international news in The Daily Star, I came to know that Iran has reduced the marital age in order to enhance its population growth! The UN Statistics says the population of Bangladesh was 160 million and that of Iran was only 73 million in 2008.
In 1952, the Pakistani rulers tried to force Urdu as the only national language of Pakistan. But the sons of our soil, without even hesitating a little about their lives, protested that move. 'Bangla is my mother tongue' was the slogan of our people. When our protest got stronger, the Pakistanis open fired and killed many of our Language Movement protesters. At last we gained our right to speak in our mother language.
The recent news item published in all the dailies over the last few days, reporting the British public's preference for their next monarch, is just 'Hot Air'! I feel that it will only remains more as an opinion than any thing else!
Is there an obvious answer to why people smoke? Some say it relieves us from tension, others say, it is a habit and may be the so-called 'coolness,' for the youngsters. Well, I would definitely not re-mention the drawbacks that are being advertised all the time in symposiums or radios, because those who smoke don't give a damn about it; and this is why in economics when it comes to the example of a product that is inelastic, the example is always cigarette. Some things depend on mentality, undoubtedly.
We are watching with deep anguish the current situation in our country. It seems that sense and sensibility has departed, total disarray has set in. We are very ashamed at the eviction of Begum Khaleda Zia from her house. The whole world must be laughing and looking down on us for this cruel act.
The recent artillery clash on the border of two Koreas threatened the peace loving people across the world. News was published that North Korea first fired dozens of artillery shells at a South Korean island, and then South Korean troops fired back. Pyongyang, however, said South Korea was the first to fire, which killed two marines and injured 18 others. The United States vowed to defend its ally South Korea after North Korea rained artillery shells. Whoever fired first, that doesn't matter. We are afraid that it is the term for balance of power in Asia!
Tourism has experienced continuous growth and diversification to become one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors in the world over the past few decades. Bangladesh is a country with the fewest arrivals and the lowest revenue earned from tourism industry. There is no doubt that tourism is an effective development tool, especially in rural areas of the developing world. It helps the economy as revenue is generated. Tourism promotes better cross culture understanding.
I've been following closely the Musa Ibrahim postage stamp saga ever since Sir Frank Peters presented the excellent idea following Musa's Everest conquest. Much has been written on this subject; one writer in particular, Hamza Gazi, asks why the government is dragging its feet in honouring this brave young son of the soil who brought such great honours to Bangladesh. The stamp concept is excellent. I know, because I am a father of three children who are avid stamp collectors.
At any moment, an earthquake can destroy Dhaka city, in fact, the whole country. Experts say all the non-engineered structures in Dhaka will collapse even if a moderate earthquake hits the country.
The Daily Star has carried an editorial under the caption "Call off hartal, shun the practice for good" on 24th November 2010. The paper has rightly suggested. But I personally believe BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia did not call hartal for her personal interest only. She was compelled to do so under pressure from her party men. At this point, she is totally unable to shun the practice of calling hartal. The BNP leadership is in a difficult situation.
The attempted bribing scandal by an ex top brass, appearing in The daily Star on November 25, 2010, under the heading "Shock offered to media" reminded me of an incident several years ago at a personal level.
The founder of whistle-blower website WikiLeaks plans to release tens of thousands of internal documents from a major US bank early next year, Forbes Magazine reported yesterday.
The activist website WikiLeaks continued to publish a series of stolen US State Department cables yesterday, embarrassing Washington and riling foreign governments exposed in the documents.
Is diplomacy in danger?
Former prime minister Gordon Brown tried to strike a deal with Washington to allow a Briton accused of hacking into US military computers to serve any sentence in Britain, classified US diplomatic cables showed yesterday.
Secretive North Korea boasted advances in its nuclear programme yesterday, making sure it held the world's attention, saying it had thousands of working centrifuges, as pressure built on China to rein in its ally.
The fragmentation of tropical rainforests 300 million years ago helped pave the way for the rise of the dinosaurs, a new study suggests.
President Dmitry Medvedev warned yesterday that a new arms race would erupt within the next decade unless Russia and the West forged an agreement to cooperate on building a missile defense system.
Norway said yesterday that China had indefinitely postponed bilateral trade talks in what experts said was an escalation of tension ahead of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony honouring Chinese rights activist Liu Xiaobo.
Egypt's spy master revealed his service recruited agents in Iraq and Syria to counter Iranian support for militants in his country, according to US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez Monday called on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to resign after the leak of embarrassingly candid US diplomatic correspondence by WikiLeaks.
A suicide bomber blew himself up near a Pakistani police station in the northwest of the country yesterday, killing six people, including two children, officials said.
Arts & Entertainment
Zahid Hasan is many things rolled into one -- stage and TV actor-director, as well as an actor on the silver screen.
At the age of 80, flute-maker Mokammel Hossain is not only engaged in his trade but also does agricultural work. In his younger days he was widely recognised and made a respectable income. Today, however, he is in dire straits and barely manages to maintain his family.
As part of the Indian cultural festival, titled “Ananda Jagya” -- organised by Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC), High Commission of India in Dhaka and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) -- a group art exhibition featuring works of four Indian artists is being held. The exhibition, entitled “Harmony and Rhythm”, showcases works of Sandhya Singh, Deepa Seth Bhando, Ruchi Goyal Kaura and Sonika Agarwal, and is being held at National Gallery, BSA. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid inaugurated the exhibition on November 27.
As part of 'Ananda Jagya', an Indian cultural festival held in Dhaka, Chittagong and Rajshahi, a music and dance troupe led by Indian artistes Subhash Goel and Anju Goel presented performances popularised by mainstream Bollywood films at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on November 29.
When was the last time we had political leaders whose minds were exercised by questions of public interest? And can you think back on an era where it was in the nature of politicians to dwell exclusively and purposefully on matters relating to the constitution, to the future of their nations, indeed to an adherence to principles they thought ought to define their own places in history? In Bangladesh -- and that means we are speaking of the last forty years -- do you recall the last time you came across a leader who could reach out to an entire nation and shape dreams for them?
On November 23, the North Korean military fired artillery shells on and in waters surrounding Yeonpyeong Island, only 8 miles from the North Korean coast. The attack caused 18 military casualties (2 marines killed, 6 heavily injured and 10 lightly injured) and 5 civilian casualties (2 killed and 3 injured) on the South Korean side.
During my recent US visit, I met a childhood friend who was in a very hyped-up mood. As many of our expatriate well-wishers, he could not help following the home country's news flashes through online news sites. He talked about how travel to villages/home towns had turned into a nightmare before Eids due to pressure on the transport system and road accidents, about Bangladesh being one of the most climate-vulnerable countries, and the recent news.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (Aids) Day is observed on December 1. It is time for us to ponder over our present situation and the link between Aids and development because it has the potential to debilitate and even thwart the process of development itself. Aids is caused by deficiency of the immune system, which stems from infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This pandemic has the potential of affecting our society in a very adverse way, as determinants of HIV are highly prevalent in our society, which portends an ominous future for us.
As the global community deliberates at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Cancun, Mexico, countries in South-East Asia are faced with the task of ensuring that regional concerns are addressed in discussions of the impact of climate change on human health.